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"All the other Ways of Knowing are controlled by language" What does this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language?

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Introduction

Banu Thuraisingam "All the other Ways of Knowing are controlled by language" What does this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language? "All the other ways of knowing are controlled by Language." This quote implies that perception, emotion and reasoning are all dependent on language. Two men by the names of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf undoubtedly believed so. Their hypothesis essentially states that what we think is determined by our language. However I believe that all the four ways of knowing are dependent on each other. Certainly language does influence us but it does not restrict perception, emotion and reason. A man named Wilhelm von Humboldt, who formulated the 'Weltanschauung' hypothesis, viewed thought as being impossible without language, language as a completely determining thought, which is a more extreme version of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis but has the same stand point. One can now question how, if there was no thought before language, did language arise in the first place? This leads us to contemplate if what these men are saying is indeed reasonable. It can be suggested that language affects and possibly controls perception, as it does in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. ...read more.

Middle

Researchers have discovered that the early forms of language had even fewer words for different colors. However, just because they didn't have a word for red it does not mean that they did not see red. When researches taught these people the words for the different colors they then had it labeled. Language is merely a label, a expression of what we have perceived. I personally believe that no matter which language you speak or which cultural norms you are used to, everyone is capable of intellectual thought and perception. One may state that emotion is dependent on language. For example, the use of emotive language not only in literature but in everyday speech, conveys a person's emotion towards something. One may say "the fetus can be terminated up to 23 weeks" whereas another may say "They allow the baby to be murdered as late as 23 weeks." Essentially both mean the same thing but the difference lies in the emotional message it conveys. An emotion is triggered by a stimulus; if that stimulus is verbal (such as emotive language) then the emotion is controlled by language. Therefore we can deduce that language provokes an emotional response and it is tool to depict emotion. ...read more.

Conclusion

The problem with inductive logic is that the initial surmise must be correct, and they are controlled by language. Similarly the problem with deductive logic is that the expression and indeed possibly even the perception of them are controlled by language. Inductive reasoning may be argued as not being influenced by language, as it is based on making observations. However, in order to make observations, then process them to form a conclusion, one must think- and thinking is done in the form of a language. Again referring back to the Sapir-Whorf theory which states that language is deterministic and what we think is restricted by our language. Conversely, another theory called the Mentalese Theory suggest that thoughts and language are two separate entities and that just because one isn't able to express something through language; it doesn't necessarily indicate that one isn't actually feeling or experiencing it. For example chimpanzees are not affected by language however research has proven that not only can they identify shapes and color but they can organize them into groups accordingly. This provides evidence to say that everyone is capable of intellectual thought process and reasoning without language. Ultimately I disagree with the quote "all the way of knowing are controlled by language." It does play a significant part in expressing emotion, perception and reasoning however it does not restrict them. The lack of language does not prevent us from thinking and therefore knowing. ...read more.

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